Identity, Equality, Unity
Pakistani Sunni Muslims protest against ongoing killing of Shia Muslims
A big number of Sunni Muslims protested outside the Lahore Press Club against the Shiites target killing in the country at the hands of Takfiri Deobandi terrorists. Protesters were carrying placards with slogans such as Stop Shiite Target Killing, Shia- Sunni are Brothers, Unity is the way to defeat the enemy etc. The protest went on for several hours.
Speeches were made at the protest which outlined the fact that Shiites had played an exceptional part in the making of Pakistan and had perhaps made more sacrifices than Sunnis during the 1947 Partition. However a recent plan has been put into action where Shiites are being pin-pointed and killed in an attempt to create Sectarian Violence in the country. The government’s criminal silence makes it seem as though everything is being done according to the government.
The protest leaders said that they belong to no political party but are just Patriotic Sunnis who feel for the Shiites. They said they are grieved over the recent killings of their Shiite brothers. They said they are standing beside their Shiite brothers in these dark days. They said, referring to the government, that the Shiite Genocide should be stopped immediately and Shiites should be provided adequate security in every city.
The protesters said the Chief Justice of Pakistan should take Suo Moto on this issue. They expressed grief over the fact that if a girl is molested in a remote village on the outskirts of Punjab, the chief justice can’t sleep peacefully without taking any action against the mass target killing of Shiites. They said the Chief Justice should not be biased.
The Sunni youth said that for the protection of Pakistan, Shiites and Sunnis are united and well aware of the enemy. They said that enemies of Islam and stability of Pakistan will not succeed in their plans as Shiites and Sunnis will no longer fight amongst themselves, infact very soon Shiites and Sunnis will kick the enemies out together.
Karriaper said HRCP had reported that as many as 313 Shias have been killed this year alone. He said the government was not doing enough to bring sectarian violence to an end. “None of this would have happened without the active connivance of the government and law enforcing agencies,” Karriaper said.
“This protest was called by a group of Sunnis so that people and media do not dismiss our voice as coming from marginalised sections of the society,” Karriaper said. One of the banners at the protest read, “We condemn the killing of our Shia brethren – Sunni Citizens.” He said the protesters were independent people expressing their solidarity with Shias.
“People in the Punjab have not been sensitised about the issue of how people are being persecuted in this country,” said another protester, Hasan Rehman. Rehman, who has previously protested with the Labour Party Pakistan and lawyers movement, said, “Protesting is not about self glorification. People are dying and we are all turning a blind eye”.
برادران اهل سنت كی جانب سے شيعہ نسل كشی كے خلاف لاهور ميں احتجاجی ريلی نكالنا ايک بہت هی اچها اور بہترين قدم هے اب هميں اس سوچ كو لے كر مذيد آگے بڑهنا هے اور اتحاد بين المسلمين كو فروغ دينا هے.
گو كہ اس ريلی ميں لوگ كم تهے ليكن تهے ضرور، دريا قطروں كے مل جانے سے وجود ميں آتا هے.
هم شيعان علی ع پاكستان سنی بهائيوں كے اس عمل كا خير مقدم كرتے هيں
Those who are reluctant to use the ‘Shia genocide’ discourse should learn from the clarity of vision of the Sunni brothers of Lahore shown in the above pictures.
Because personal experiences count and these personal stories help reveal the fabric of society it is worthwhile to share my story of being a child whose childhood was free of prejudices and who was grown in Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadis, Hindus, Christians, Punjabis, Pustoons, Sindhis, Muhajirs and Balochis without even knowing that all these identities exist and that these identities are cause of so much rift and friction in the society.
I had no clue because my elders had not taught me to be prejudiced and never differentiated people in their circle based on cast or creed, belief or background. So what I learned was respect for diversity; I used to go to Jafri Sahab’s home with my father and siblings at Ashoora to watch ‘Taazias’ and ‘Matam’ , as the main procession in the city used to pass in front of his home. It was normal for woman of my household to go to Al-e-Hassan’s home during Ashoora Majalis as a token of respect and I could still remember those events which I have attended along with ladies. Until I went to attend university, I used to watch ‘Shaam-e-Ghareeban’ on PTV notably Allama Talib Johri and we were never told anything which even had a clue to humiliate Shias. It was common for Sunnis to cook meal such as ‘Haleem’ on Muharram and create ‘Sabeels’, we used to play beside a ‘Imam bargah’ and mostly pray ‘Maghrib’ prayers there while no one was asking who we were and no one cared on what style we follow. My father used to go to Syed Sahab every year for ‘Koondey’ and his son was my best friend, we learned to ride bicycle together and he used to give me lift on his cycle when we were returning from school, we never discussed his being Shia and my being Sunni, we never thought about it, as we were never taught about it.
So if you think that every child in Pakistan had grown in a prejudiced hateful environment, it is wrong, it is completely wrong. We were not like that; it is true that rifts were always there, there always were disputes as there always were people who got benefited from such disputes (which is the case till today), but there was a large segment of society which kept itself away from such prejudices, mostly common people were far far away from such distinctions and they used to live together peacefully as one people.
These distinctions were exploited by the elite whenever they need and especially in Zia era racial and lingual differences and religious sectarianism was used as a tool to keep focus of people away from the real challenges and to keep democratic movements weak, fragile and disintegrated and hence to stop momentum of a real people’s movement against the regime.
Generation which grew up in Zia era and later came up with a different psychology, that era was the era of censor and violence, people were forced to be silent, drug and arms were introduced heavily and society was disintegrated to benefit the rulers, and so the society was transformed. We were transformed in a society which could support Jihad in Afghanistan against USSR and communism. Along with the fact that Shia majority areas had the oil reserves and a Shia majority Iran was considered a threat to other states or ruling classes in Gulf; and so this rift was stretched to almost all Muslim countries including Pakistan. Heavy money poured in to support ‘Madrsahs ‘and other outfits and parties for both sides. In this environment a different generation was raised.
But whatever that generation may think, they should be reminded that things were not like this by default, they need to seek beyond their experiences to understand what happened and they must realize that situation can be changed. If situation can be altered for the worst, it can also be developed for good and common benefit. We have seen good times, and those times can be brought back if we stand together against the forces of darkness and biases.Source: LUBP